The Food Security Problem
Next to eating or cooking, growing food is so close to human nature and we’ve lost that connection with nutrition. We all head down to the large supermarket and purchase produce from Chile, Mexico, Argentina or California. While this produce is “dirt” cheap, we have a false sense of food value. Understand that this foreign food exploits foreign workers. We pay them as little as $1 an hour. We also don’t have a clear understanding of foreign farm practices. I have people ask why we charge what we charge. The reason: the food contains a true labor value in it. Growing food is not expensive but we, as farmers, would like to make a decent wage at what we are growing.
Purchase locally grown vegetables, meat, value added items…EVERYTHING! Start to know your food system because it really is broken. Contribute to local economy and your own health by knowing your farmer and their farming practices. One of the coolest things to hit farming in years is SPIN (small plot IN-tensive) farming or urban farming. This is using unused yards or land to grow produce for sale in a highly intensive but caring manner.
The idea behind shopping local is not just to buy from people you end up knowing and becoming friends with, its about keeping the money spent within our community or city. If you buy from a company like Walmart, the only people what really benefit from the cheap produce is the employees here in town (which are never paid much). The rest of that money heads down to the Walmart head office and supporting the Chinese factories where they make most of these good.
Buy local benefits
- You start to know the people you are doing business with.
- That dollar you spent, 75-90% ends up staying local, increasing our own economy (sometimes coming back to a business that you may own)
- While the verdict is still out on transport costs, it just makes sense to purchase something grown in our City or province as opposed to trucking it in from another country or continent.
- Talking to your farmer, you end up getting ideas for what to do with your produce, recipes etc.
- Locally grown food typically has a higher nutrient density. Produce degrades over time and local produce is picked just before you purchase and eat it.
- Good for carbon sequestering – This is a fancy way of saying we help with regenerating soil and therefore taking nasties out of the air.
Growing your own Food Benefits
- It “grounds” you. You become one with the earth as you tend for soil and pick your own seeds to grow into edible sustenance for your body.
- You become a contributing factor to local food security
- You teach your kids and family where food comes from and how easy it is to grow your own food.
- You know exactly what goes into your food. If you don’t use chemicals, chemicals won’t be ingested.
- Gardening is therapeutic
- You start to understand the real value in vegetables, the work involved, the costs.
As I’ve discovered since growing food for Calgarians, I really embrace the buy local mentality, not just with food but with everything that enters our house.
How to buy Dirt Boys produce
How to get Dirt Boys garden